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Municipal Affairs
December 10, 2010

Provincial Government Provides $5 Million in Support of
Amalgamation of Fogo Island

To strengthen municipal services, address financial constraints and better position themselves for the future, the Fogo Island Regional Council and the Towns of Fogo, Joe Batt’s Arm-Barr’d Islands-Shoal Bay, Seldom-Little Seldom and Tilting, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to form one municipal entity to be known as the Town of Fogo Island. The Provincial Government will contribute approximately $5 million in support of the incorporation.

"Today marks a historic day, and speaks to the tremendous level of collaboration in coming together for the benefit of residents of Fogo Island," said the Honourable Kevin O’Brien, Minister of Municipal Affairs. "The agreement will create a new governance structure which will consider the needs of all communities on Fogo Island, ensure the new town entity begins in a strong financial position, and will provide opportunity for strengthened municipal services for the region."

The agreement includes payment of approximately $4.8 million to write down combined outstanding debt, a grant to develop a town plan, funding for a new soccer field, and funding to cover transitional costs for the transfer of assets and other associated merger expenses.

"I commend all those involved for their hard work, and commitment in recognizing the needs of their communities and joining forces to become a new stronger unified town," said Derrick Dalley, MHA for The Isles of Notre Dame. "This new partnership will eliminate debt for Fogo Island, and introduce a more coordinated approach to municipal service delivery for the entire island."

Harry Hallett, President of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, said that bringing these towns together shows the dedication and cooperation that exists on Fogo Island. "Our Community Cooperation Office (CCO) played a key role in this process as we worked with the towns in facilitating meetings and assisting with the administration," said Mr. Hallett. "We reviewed the local governance structure on the island and met with the individual councils to discuss a new approach. Over time our role expanded and MNL became the primary liaison between government and municipalities."  

The previous municipal government structure for the approximately 2,700 residents included four town councils and a separate regional council. The amalgamation to become one municipal entity is at the request and agreement of the regional council and four town councils.

"This is an important step for creating unity on Fogo Island, and we look forward to working together for the benefit of all residents," said Andrew Shea, Mayor of Fogo.

"This is a great day for residents of Fogo Island, and we are proud to be a part of this effort to secure a brighter future for the island" said Gerald McKenna, Chair of the Fogo Island Cooperation Committee. "I look forward to working with the other representatives to take the next steps to elect a new council which will represent the best interests of all residents."

"As Mayor of the Town of Joe Batt's Arm, Barr'd Islands and Shoal Bay, I feel that this is a monumental day for the residents of Fogo Island, and marks a new opportunity for us all to work together as one entity for the economic development and prosperity of the future of Fogo Island," said Mayor Ed Combden.

To ease transition, under the agreement a new governance structure will be introduced with an elected town council comprising nine members which will include two representatives from Fogo, two from Joe Batt’s Arm-Barr’d Islands-Shoal Bay, and one representative from each of the following: Tilting, Seldom-Little Seldom, Stag Harbour, Island Harbour and Deep Bay. An election for the ward councillors is expected to be scheduled for February 2011, followed by incorporation of the Town of Fogo Island shortly thereafter.

"Today is indeed an extraordinary one for Fogo Island, as we begin a new and exciting era in municipal government," said Gary Dawe, Mayor of the Town of Seldom-Little Seldom. "We are looking forward to working together to make our island community more economically sustainable."

Gerard Foley, Mayor of the Town of Tilting, is pleased to be part of this significant event for Fogo Island. "Amalgamation of the island communities, with renewed cooperation and a focused approach, will further enhance our economic growth and help to provide long term stability for our Island," said Mayor Foley.

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Media contacts:

Heather MacLean
Director of Communications
Department of Municipal Affairs
709-729-1983, 697-4137
heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca 
Sharon King
Communications Officer
Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador
709-753-6822, 699-5619 communications@municipalitiesnl.com 
Derrick Dalley
MHA, Isles of Notre Dame
70-729-1191, 884-1226
DerrickDalley@gov.nl.ca 
Ed Combden
Mayor, Town of Joe Batt's Arm, Barr'd Islands & Shoal Bay
709-658-3490
daphne-jbstownclerk@hotmail.com 
Gerald McKenna
Chair, Fogo Island Cooperation Committee
709-266-2307
geraldmckenna@eastlink.ca 
Gary Dawe
Mayor, Town of Seldom-Little Seldom
709-627-3372
townofseldom@eastlink.ca
Andrew She,
Mayor, Town of Fogo
709-266-2214
townoffogo@eastlink.ca 
Gerard Foley
Mayor, Town of Tilting
709-658-7288
towncouncil@townoftilting.com 

2010 12 10                                                     12:10 p.m.
 


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